From humble beginnings in the metropolitan area of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, to achieving her PhD in New York City in the U.S., to advising Jacobs’ clients on energy transition, net zero and circular economy strategies in the U.K. and being named CIWEM’s Young Environmentalist of the Year 2020, Ariane Brotto is a powerhouse - determined to ensure that future generations can live on a healthy planet and continue to progress with sustainable development.
For Ariane, her purpose is clear: To be a resourceful leader, inspiring young generations to achieve their full potential and make a positive impact on their environment.
Countries lived in - Brazil, Canada, U.S. and U.K.
people live in her home city, Rio de Janeiro
Target year for the U.K. water sector to achieve net zero carbon emissions
Academic degrees held
I realised that my passion for knowledge and desire to become a renowned scholar would not take me anywhere or have any impact if I didn't look outwards to the people around me. That was the moment I decided to change from being an introvert focused on what I could achieve on my own to being a people's person, engaging with those around me and being an influence on their lives and letting them shape mine as well.
Ariane’s inspiration for a career in Environmental Science and Engineering came from observing the beautiful natural landscapes around her and wanting to understand more about how it all worked. This led her to focus her undergraduate studies on Environmental and Atmospheric Chemistry, spending a semester at York University in Toronto, Canada.
When she returned to Rio, she was offered a unique opportunity to lead pioneering research investigating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from wastewater treatment. This opportunity enabled Ariane to publish the first scientific paper in this area in the country – all while studying as an undergraduate – and to contribute to the International Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) emission factor database for the estimation of national GHG emissions.
Her yearning to continue exploring took her to New York City to pursue a PhD in Environmental Engineering at Columbia University. There she joined a world-leading research group focusing on understanding how the microbial community in wastewater treatment produced GHGs, in particular nitrous oxide (N2O), under different operational conditions and what could be done to minimize the emissions of this potent GHG.
Even though her life-long aspiration was to become an academic scholar, Ariane realised she could contribute so much more by applying her knowledge and passion to address climate change in the 'real' world, outside of academia. After completing her PhD she became part of the Office of Energy and Resource Recovery in the largest combined water and wastewater utility in the U.S., the New York City Department of Environmental Protection.
Ariane joined Jacobs when she moved to the U.K. in 2019, and has since been working on some of the most exciting operational and infrastructure projects in the U.K. to support the achievement of sustainability and climate goals - like helping the U.K. water sector meet its ambitious commitment to reach net zero carbon by 2030, including through the mitigation of process N2O emissions.
But it’s not just her day job where Ariane shines.
She believes it’s important to share her expertise with the world, and she does so by organizing and participating in local and international initiatives, including conferences and thought leadership publications. Ariane is passionate about mentoring and teaching, making knowledge accessible to more people. She particularly mentors women in STEAM, helping to empower them to make a difference with their skills and pursue their dreams.
Ariane is also an advocate for inclusion and diversity and actively participates in the Jacobs Employee Network Enlace, helping to share Latino culture and heritage across the business. She is part of the Enlace global leadership team responsible for internal partnerships, providing support to regional leads to grow their strategies, membership and increase internal collaboration with other Jacobs Employee Networks.
Her achievements, passion, drive and commitment to creating a better future shine through and in February 2021, Ariane was awarded the accolade of Young Environmentalist of the Year 2020 by the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM). She hopes that the award will give her the platform to reach higher levels as a female professional leader to continue tackling the challenges of climate change globally through her work, knowledge sharing and mentorship.
Columbia University: Ariane Coelho Brotto | Earth and Environmental Engineering | PhD Candidate
Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM): Young Environmentalist of the Year 2020